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Posts Tagged ‘Pelikan P1’

Posted by Dirck on 18 May, 2017

This Week’s Pens Inks How Much Novel Written
  • 21 manuscript pages.

I’m about, according to my own estimates, 70% finished the first draft.  This is not going as quickly as I might have hoped, although it’s not going quite as slowly as I’d feared.  I found another gap in my research today, which I should be able to comfortably fill in during the second-draft process, and this lead me off on another tangent of thought….

Part of me is beginning to yell at the other parts regarding the mechanical approach to the writing I’m following.  “Hand-written first draft?  Fine for a 4,000 word story, but on this scale… what is wrong with you?!”  I don’t think I’m going to listen to it, because as this late stage to shift to the the sort of writing production that most normal people seem to pursue these days, banging away on a keyboard rather like I’m doing right this minute, doesn’t seem possible without jumping right into the second-draft process.  Which would mean leaving the back 30% of the thing in a nebulous form while I re-write what already exists, only picking up the weaving when I travel back to this point… and I don’t know that the narrative would survive this sort of interruption of its gestation.

HOWEVER, for those who are (still, somehow) interested in this process, and for Future Me who will one day be writing another novel (I have vague outlines for at least eight, so I’d best pick up my pace), a couple of thoughts on this hand-written first draft stuff.  On the negative side, it is taking a long time, and it means second draft will also take a long time, since that won’t just be amending stupidities, but will be an entire re-write to transform marks on paper into an electronic format that editors and publishers will actually look at.  Also, as it stands now, my very-literal manuscript is a unique object; no redundancy, no off-site back-up.  This has been a source of some concern for about the past month and a half, as the imp of the perverse keeps painting pictures of fire, flood and brief-case theft.  I find that the difference of scale between a 4,000 word short story and an 80,000 word novel radically alters my ability to look at these potential disasters and greet them with an indifferent shrug.  I might well toss myself into a lake if the current heap of paper were to meet with a bad end.

The benefits of hand-written creation are still present.  I don’t go back and fiddle with specifics, so the flow of the work remains (generally) good.  I might be closer to done now if I had hit the keyboard ab initio, but I might also be only half as far along, having allowed myself to spend a full day getting one paragraph just so because the text is so malleable when it’s electronic.  Hand-writing harnesses the power of laziness in this regard, or perhaps lashes it to the power of cheapskate-ish-ness, because to do that sort of thing now would be a lot of fruitless scribbling and wasted paper.  At this point, though, I think I may have enough practice with rushing ahead on extruding the basic concept of the scenes without giving into the urge to fix things that aren’t quite the right shape that I may be able to conduct the practice in a keyboard-driven environment and thus be able to attack novel-length projects with better efficiency.

I guess we’ll see when I’m done this one.  Which… sigh… won’t be very soon.

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And Now, Sports

Posted by Dirck on 12 May, 2017

A few weeks back in this space, I ran an ad for a TV from back in the old, pre-cable days when that answer to “What’s on TV?” was “Something dull on one channel, and something slightly less dull on the other channel.”  Well, this Found Friday Film pursues an answer to how people entertained themselves before it was possible to even frame the question “What’s on TV?”

Jedi Vikings, kids.  Ponder that with fear and trembling.

Today’s pen: Pelikan P1
Today’s ink: Diamine Marine

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Posted by Dirck on 9 June, 2016

Day What How Much Duration Pen Ink
  • 6 June
  • 7 June
  • 8 June
  • 9 June
  • First draft of the “Swimmer’s Build”.
  • For what will end up as a lightly comedic story, I’m happy to take my time on it.
  • I don’t think I’m even half-done, yet.
  • Nope.  Although the real action has now begun.
  • Six manuscript pages.
  • Eight pages.
  • Seven pages.
  • Six pages.
  • 35 min.
  • 50 min.
  • 45 min.
  • 40 min.

* given that recent scare with the Quink, I’m doing something about these not-very-old Sheaffer cartridges.  You may see a lamentable number of references to this in the next several weeks.

** OK, this has been going for long enough.  I’m retiring it, even if the cartridge isn’t quite empty.

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Nothing’s Perfect

Posted by Dirck on 6 June, 2016

I mentioned a few entries back that I had indulged myself in the use of my Parker 75.  Over the weekend, after intermittent use, I decided it was time to clear out the pen and put it back in storage.  This proved to be a more thorough cleaning than I’d expected.

I had loaded it with a somewhat elderly cartridge from a packet unearthed during the re-housing of my parents last year, probably of mid-1980s manufacture.  The ink had lost some of its moisture over the years, but I have replenished it with water after the piercing, as one can.  I was not, alas, sufficiently attentive when I did that, or I could have saved myself some hassle.

Plastics can go brittle as they age.  In the case of this particular cartridge, the mouth of the cartridge had done just that, and rather than deforming slightly to provide a good seal with the piercing fang, it had cracked in admitting that fang to provide a perfectly miserable seal.  A good deal of the ink ended up inside the barrel of the pen, having travelled between section and cartridge via the same capillary action that is usually a welcome element in the function of a fountain pen.

A warning, then– you may decline to examine the mouth of a gift horse, but do look closely at the mouth of an elderly cartridge.

Today’s pen: Pelikan P1
Today’s ink: Herbin Vert Empire

Oh, also– I have a new little story up at my other establishment.

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Posted by Dirck on 2 June, 2016

Day What How Much Duration Pen Ink
  • 30 May
  • 31 May
  • 1 June
  • 2 June
  • First draft of the “Swimmer’s Build”.
  • More of that (easier without the migraine).
  • I think this is going to stretch out some, to be honest.  It’s still in the “hinting at the problem” stage.
  • Yep.  A leisurely development on this one.
  • Four manuscript pages
  • Seven pages
  • Seven pages
  • Seven pages
  • 35 min.
  • 45 min.
  • 40 min.
  • 50 min.

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“When the battle’s lost and won…”

Posted by Dirck on 27 May, 2016

“…when the hurdy-gurdy’s done!”  Yep, love that Shakespeare.


Just a moment….

[sound of someone flipping though The Compleat Works of W. Shakespeare until arriving at MacBeth I.i ]

Oh.  Well, here’s a hurdy-gurdy anyway.

Today’s pen: Pelikan P1
Today’s ink: Herbin Vert Empire

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Posted by Dirck on 19 May, 2016

Day What How Much Duration Pen Ink
  • 16 May
  • 17 May
  • 18 May
  • 19 May
  • First draft of “Suspension of Disbelief.”
  • Third draft work on “Mistake of Timing” and “Poor Old Micheal Finnegan.”
  • Second draft of “Late Retirement.”
  • Ditto
  • 690 typed words, and done.
  • Stuff.  Adjustments.
  • 863 typed words.
  • 684 words, owing to distraction.*
  • 55 min.
  • 55 min.
  • 40 min.
  • 40 min.

* Bad news, of the deeply inconvenient sort: a bank which lies between that of Regular Job and me, whose job it is to move my pay from one to the other, has had some sort of system error.  Since “paycheque to paycheque” is the marching orders for my household, as it is for so many others, this is a nervous-making development on the leading edge of a long weekend.

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Posted by Dirck on 12 May, 2016

Day What How Much Duration Pen Ink
  • 9 May
  • 10 May
  • 11 May
  • 12 May
  • First draft of “Late Retirement.”
  • And a fun first draft it’s becoming!
  • Fun, and persistent.
  • Done… but for a satisfactory last sentence or three.  GRRRR!
  • Eight manuscript pages.
  • Seven pages.
  • Eight pages.
  • Five pages.
  • 55 min.
  • 45 min.
  • 50 min.
  • 55 min.

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Nothing Funny About It

Posted by Dirck on 19 June, 2015

A friend showed me this today, and I can’t think of anything I’d rather do with my little corner of the internet on the day I usually show a video made by someone else. It is somewhat US-centric, but there are sentiments more broadly applicable.


The thing about comedians– the good ones usually understand humanity too well.

Today’s pen: Pelikan P1
Today’s ink: Herbin Bleu Myosotis

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Posted by Dirck on 18 June, 2015

Day What How Much Duration Pen Ink
  • 15 June
  • 16 June
  • 17 June
  • 11 June
  • First draft of “Inconvenient Weekend of the Dead”
  • First draft of “Decorations”
  • More “Decorations”
  • …and all but the end of that story.
  • 4 manuscript pages and done.
  • 4 pages.
  • 5 pages.
  • 6 pages.
  • 35 min.
  • 40 min.
  • 45 min.
  • 45 min.

If you accuse me of laziness in not getting back at the big choose-your-own project, I will defend vigourously with a claim of cowardice; the necessary extra work, even though less than what has already been done, intimidates me.  There’s also something not dissimilar to luxurious greed or even lust, because the two little things I’ve knocked out this week have really been offering themselves to me and producing the sort of endorphin effects I think writers and work-out fanatics both pursue in their separate ways.

But I’m about to run out of excuses.  {quivers}

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